THE House of Representatives on Wednesday slapped Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, Jr. with a 60-day suspension for disorderly behavior.
This, after the plenary, with 292 affirmative votes and without abstention, adopted the recommendations of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges against Teves, for his “disorderly behavior affecting the dignity, integrity, and reputation of the House of Representatives.”
In committee report 472, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges Chairman Felipe Espares said “after a thorough deliberation and observance of due process, the committee on Ethics and Privileges hereby recommends to the House of Representatives the imposition of the penalty of 60 days suspension from the service upon Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” A. Teves Jr. for disorderly behavior.”
“Let us not be mistaken or misled by numerous insinuations and beliefs as to the outcome of the investigation. We are at liberty to say that the real issue on the cases at hand is whether or not the conduct of Teves in staying abroad with expired travel clearance and his continued defiance to the orders of the House to return to the country and perform his duties as House Member constitute disorderly behavior affecting the dignity, integrity, and reputation of the House of Representatives,” he said.
For his part, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday assured the public that the House of Representatives will not tolerate misconduct and wrongdoing among its members.
He made the assurance in remarks shortly before Congress went on its Lenten break.
He said the call for disciplinary action against Teves, who was implicated in the recent killing of Gov. Roel Degamo and several others, was a “pressing matter that warranted the chamber’s urgent and sound response.”
“Under my leadership, the House of Representatives will never ever countenance any conduct unbecoming of a House member,” he said.
Moreover, the committee report said the Constitution requires that public officials and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
It said Teves’s request for extension of his travel clearance was not given due course because of his own doing, as he failed to specify the foreign place/s and the specific period of travel.
In a video message last Tuesday, Teves denied anew his involvement in the killing of Degamo, saying he is also a “victim” by people with political agenda.
He, however, refused to return to the Philippines because of alleged serious threats to his life.